tv Presidential Address to Congress MSNBC February 28, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm PST
[ applause ] the bible teaches us there is no greater active love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. ryan lay down his life for his friends, for his country and for our freedom, and we will never forget ryan. [ applause ] to those allies who wonder what kind of a friend america will be, look no further than the heroes who wear our uniform. our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world. it is american leadership, based
on vital security interests, that we share with our allies all across the globe. we strongly support nato, an alliance forged through the bonds of two world wars, that dethrone fascism and the cold war and defeated communism. [ applause ] but our partners must meet their financial obligations, and now based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that. in fact, i can tell you the money is pouring in. very nice. very nice. [ applause ] we expect our partners, whether
in nato, the middle east or in the pacific, to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost. have to do that. we will respect historic institutions, but we will respect the foreign rights of all nations, and they have to respect our rights as a nation also. [ applause ] free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people, and america respect the right of all nations to chart their own path. my job is not to represent the world. my job is to represent the united states of america. [ applause ]
but we know that america is better off when there is less conflict, not more. we must learn from the mistakes of the past. we have seen the war and the destruction that have ravaged and raged throughout the world, all across the world. the only long-term solution for these humanitarian disasters in many cases is to create the conditions where displaced persons can safely return home and begin the long, long process of rebuilding. [ applause ] america is willing to find new friends and to forge new partnerships where shared interests align. we want harmony and stability, not war and conflict. we want peace wherever peace can
be found. america is friends today with former enemies. some of our closest allies decades ago fought on the opposite side of these terrible, terrible wars. this history should give us all faith in the possibilities for a better world. hopefully, the 250th year for america we'll see a world that is more peaceful, more just and more free. on our 100th anniversary in 1876, citizens from across our nation came to philadelphia to celebrate america's centennial. at that celebration the country's builders and artists and inventors showed off their wonderful creations. alexander graham bell displayed his telephone for the first time. remington unveiled the first typewriter. an early attempt was made at
electric light. thomas edison showed an automatic telegraphic and an electric pen. imagine the wonders our country could know in america's 250th year. [ applause ] think of the marvels we could achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people. cures to the illnesses that have always plagued us are not too much to hope. american footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream. millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect, and streets where mothers are safe from fear, schools where children learn in peace, and jobs where americans prosper and grow are not too much to ask.
[ applause ] when we have all of this, we will have made america greater than ever before. for all-americans, this is our vision, this is our mission, but we can only get there together. we are one people with one destiny. we all bleed the same blood. we all salute the same great american flag, and we all are made by the same god. [ applause ]
when we fulfill this vision, when we celebrate our 250 years of glorious freedom, we will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of american greatness began. the time for small thinking is over. the time for trivial fights is behind us. we just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts, the bravery to express the hopes that share our souls, and the confidence to turn those hopes and those dreams into action. from now on, america will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears. inspired by the future, not bound by failures of the past, and guided by a vision, not blinded by our doubts. i am asking all citizens to embrace this renewal of the
american spirit. i am asking all members of congress to join me in dreaming big and bold and daring things for our country. i am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment, believe in yourselves, believe in your future, and believe once more in america. thank you. god bless you and god bless the united states. [ cheering and applause ] [ cheering and applause ].
just over an hour in length, donald trump delving into some soaring rhetoric there at the end. easily the most traditional speech he has given in public life, the most speech-like speech, if you will. some lofty promises, some lofty pledges there. everything broken in our country can be fixed. dying industries will come roaring back to life, drug epidemics will stop. for those who were worried going into tonight about decorum in the chamber, we had had nothing close to the euline moment. we did have some laughter after his line about draining the swamp. we had some groans when he
>> hit a home run. >> we did, we did. >> mr. president, great job. appreciate it. [ inaudible ]. >> i thought it was reagan-esque. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> there he is. [ inaudible ]. >> used to be lonely out there. [ inaudible ]. >> you knocked it out of the park. beautiful. so proud. >> that was a great speech. one of the best we have seen in quite sometime. thank you very much. >> how did you do in golf against the japanese prime
in large part because while he is easily the most camera-aware president in american history, you don't know how much of the mechanics of this he has been briefed on, ie the mike is open all the way out up the aisle. let's face it, the last eight of these we've seen have been a president who is a veteran of the form and knows his way around that chamber. the president could not help himself on some of the ad libbing and i noted started around page eight of 18. certain areas like it wasn't enough to say that nato members are meeting their financial goals, the money was pouring in. it wasn't enough to simply note the emotional and extended ovation for a navy seal. the president added his believes
that a record for sustained applause had just been set. >> you know, for the first eight pages we saw a remarkably disciplined donald trump, remarkable for him in terms of how close he stayed with the teleprompter and then he started wiggling off with the ad libes. fair to note, i think that his ingress and e degrees from the room while still being occluded by helps members of congress cramming into the aisle, trying to get their moment with him, a lot faster than we have seen for previous presidents. one of the things we noticed on his way in is that while there were a couple of democrats in the aisle who pushed in to make sure they shook his hand on the way in, i saw jared polis for example who was there, there was nobody there from the democrats. they kept their seats, let him walk in. same thing when he walked out. i'm sure there were a few democrats among the group of people trying to get a moment.
we saw joe manchon there, but didn't see anyone else. you see in these first year speeches where the audience stand up on one side. i think we saw it in typical fashion tonight. i think it will be a well-received speech for donald trump that's, in part, i think fair to say a product of expectations that he's not seen as somebody who necessarily gives a good, formal speech. he is more of a rollicking speech instead of a formal speech giver. it will be a notable thing that the president spent a big portion of what was in effect the state of the union trying to, you know, tell the country what vicious murdering criminals immigrants are. that is focusing on crimes committed by immigrants. the groan as you mentioned, brian, when he mentioned this victims of immigration crime engagement office, highlighting immigrants as particularly
villainous and violent, that's important, an important part of who he is and what he is selling the country. >> two minutes until we get the democratic response. what is your response? >> i thought tonight's moment was karen owens talking to her husband. >> how could you be unmoved? >> she is talking to her lost husband. nothing more to say than the power of that moment. there she is, a regular woman who lost her spouse. i thought the powerful political moment -- and i was watching it all and i watched when the democrats did get up, too, and even tim ryan, the vp nominee for the democratic party, i think this line of economic nationalism works. i think left, right and center people have a sense of righteous indignation, right or wrong, we've been screwed worldwide. we must make it easier for companies to do business in the united states and harder for companies to leave. i think it was a winner politically. probably the reason he was elected in michigan, wisconsin,
pennsylvania and ohio, he is winning the ticket on economic nationalism. i think the immigration thing, he pulled back. he didn't do what we were promised at the luncheon. >> the only change on immigration, he didn't say mexico was going to pay for the wall this time. that was the only thing he dropped on immigration. >> but you he didn't do what we were told he was going to do, offer a chance to live here legally for people who are not criminals. >> let's remember. he is not running for president now, right. so i agree with you that the nationalism line is probably popular politically, but -- and politics matters to a sitting president, but i was listening for substance. i didn't hear a change in immigration. i did hear something that would gladden the heart of speaker paul ryan on healthcare. because when he talked about healthcare, he listed some of the components that are in the healthcare plan. >> i have to bust in for the democratic response, the former
governor of kentucky. steve brashier is from the lexington diner in kentucky. >> from 2007 to 2017. i'm a private citizen now. i'm here in lexington, kentucky some 400 miles from washington at a diner with neighbors, democrats and republicans, where we watched the president's address. i'm a proud democrat, but first and foremost i'm a proud republican and democrat and mostly american. like many of you, i am worried about the future of this nation. look, i grew up in kentucky in a small town called dawson springs. my dad and granddad were baptist preachers. my family owned a funeral home, and my wife jane and i have been married for almost 50 years. i became governor at the start of the global recession, and after eight years we left things a lot better than we found them.
by being fiscally responsible, i even cut my own pay, we balanced ore budget and turned deficits into surpluses without raising taxes. we cut our unemployment rate in half. we made huge gains in high school graduation rates, and we found health coverage for over half a million kentuckyans. we did that through trust and mutual respect. i listened and i built partnerships with business leaders and with republicans in our legislature. we put people first and politics second. the america i love allowed a small town preacher's kid to be elected governor, and it taught me to embrace people who are different from me, not vilify them. the america i love has always been about looking forward, not backward, about working together to find solutions regardless of party, instead of allowing our
differences to divide us and hold us back. and we democrats are committed to creating the opportunity for every american to succeed, by growing our economy with good-paying jobs, educating and training our people to fill those jobs, giving our businesses the freedom to innovate, keeping our country safe and providing healthcare that families can afford and rely on. mr. president, as a candidate you promised to be a champion for families struggling to make ends meet, and i hope you live up to that promise. but one of your very first executive orders makes it harder for those families to even afford a mortgage. then you started rolling back rules that provide oversight of the financial industry and safeguard us against another national economic multdoeltdown
picked a cabinet of wall street insiders that want to eviscerate the protections most americans count on and that help level the playing field. that's not being our champion. that's being wall street's champion. even more troubling, you and your republican allies in congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of americans who most need it. does the affordable care act need some repairs? sure, it does. but so far every republican idea to replace the affordable care act would reduce the number of americans covered, despite your promises to the contrary. mr. president, folks here in kentucky expect you to keep your word because this isn't a game, it is life and death for people. these ideas promise access to care but deny the importance of making care affordable and
effective. they would charge families more for fewer benefits and put the insurance companies back in control. behind these ideas is the belief that folks at the lower end of the economic ladder just don't deserve healthcare, that it is somehow their fault that their employer doesn't offer insurance or that they can't can afford to buy expensive health plans. but just who are these 22 million americans, including 500,000 people right here in kentucky, who now have healthcare that didn't have it before? look, they're not aliens from some distant planet. they're our friends and our neighbors. we sit in the bleachers with them on friday night. we worship in the pews with them on sunday morning. they're farmers, restaurant workers, part-time teachers, nurses aids, construction workers and entrepreneurs
working at high-tech startups. and before the affordable care act they woke up every morning and went to work just hoping and praying they wouldn't get sick, because they knew that they were just one bad diagnosis away from bankruptcy. you know, in 2010 this country made a commitment that every american deserved healthcare they could afford and rely on, and we democrats are going to do everything in our power to keep president trump and the republican congress from reneging on that commitment, but we're going to need your help by speaking out. another commitment now being tested is to our national security. look, make no mistake, i'm a military veteran myself and i know that protecting america is the president's highest duty. yet president trump is ignoring serious threats to our national
security from russia, who is not our friend, while alienating our allies who fought with us side by side and are our friends in a dangerous world. his approach makes us less safe and should worry every freedom-loving american. instead, president trump has all but declared war on refugees and immigrants. look, the president can and should enforce our immigration laws, but we can protect america without abandoning our principles and our moral obligation to help those fleeing war and terror without tearing families apart and without needlessly jeopardizing our military men and women fighting overseas. you know, another republican president, ronald reagan, once said, in america our origins matter less than our
destination, and that is what democracy is all about. president trump also needs to understand that people may disagree with him from time to time, but that doesn't make them his enemies. when the president attacks the loyalty and credibility of our intelligence agencies, the court system, the military, the free press, individual americans, simply because he doesn't like what they say, he's eroding our democracy, and that's reckless. real leaders don't spread derision and division. real leaders strengthen, they unify, they partner, and they offer real solutions instead of ultimatums and blame. look, i may be old fashioned, but i still believe that dignity, compassion, honesty and accountability are basic
american values. as a democrat i believe that if you work hard you deserve the opportunity to realize the american dream, regardless of whether you're a cold miner in kentucky, a teacher in rhode island, an autoworker in detroit, or a software engineer in san antonio. our political system is broken. it is broken because too many of our leaders think it is all about them. they need to remember that they work for us, and helping us is their work. kentucky made real progress while i was governor because we were motivated by one thing, helping families. democrats are trying to bring that same focus back to washington d.c. americans are a diverse people, and we may disagree on a lot of things, but we've always come together when we remember that we are one nation under god,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. with apologies because i got behind on time and did not give the governor the intro or the event, the set up it deserved. that was former two-term democratic governor of kentucky, steve bashier speaking from a diner in lexington, kentucky. having said that to steve schmidt, what do you make of the event as the democratic response? >> extraordinary. the democratic party is at its lowest point of power in this country since the 1920s, and the democratic response was made by a 72-year-old retired two-term governor from kentucky, not by kamala harris, not by kristin jillebrand, not by the castro brothers, not by anyone who has